Pakistan Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has taken notice of audio leaks involving the prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and an inquiry has been initiated.
Sanaullah said that the inquiry of leaked audio would involve high-level officials from all agencies. He further said that the inquiry will determine whether the PM’s House’s security was breached or not, ARY News reported.
However, neither the Prime Minister nor the Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb denied or disputed the phone conversation, suggesting alarm bells have been sounded in all corridors of power, the Dawn reported.
According to the publication, sources in the PM House said that the issue was “quite serious” and it was being investigated by the relevant quarters on the directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who was in London when the leaks were first reported.
When asked whether the leaks featured in any conversations in London, a senior PML-N leader privy to the talks said that PM Shehbaz would handle the issue upon his return to Pakistan, the Dawn reported.
This comes as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry claimed that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) office was not secured and the 115-hour-long leaked audio clip has been put on for auction on the dark web for USD 3.5 million.
He said that the audio leak confirmed that decisions are being made in London. He added that the PMO audio leak was also a failure of the security agencies.
Meanwhile, PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday alleged that the leaked audio clip had proved that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice-President Maryam Nawaz’s son-in-law also made illegal money.
In the clip, a voice – said to be that of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – informs the government official about Maryam Nawaz looking to import machinery from India for a power plant, upon the request of her son-in-law Raheel.
While the second audio clip leaked on Sunday is allegedly between the federal cabinet in which the final approval on the resignations of PTI members was taken from London.
A day later, more purported audio clips featuring leaders of the Pakistan ruling coalition surfaced on Sunday.
In the clips which were shared by several PTI leaders, the conversations between Pakistan Muslim League-N Vice President Maryam, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Law Minister Azam Tarar, Sanaullah and former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif were heard.
The first clip purportedly features a conversation between PML-N Vice President Maryam and PM Shehbaz about the country’s finance minister Miftah Ismail, who has reportedly faced criticism from within the party for taking tough economic measures, reported Dawn.
The PML-N vice president has publicly stated that she does not agree with the decision to hike petrol and electricity prices, saying she did not own such decisions, whether her party was in government or not.
The second clip allegedly features a conversation between the premier, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Law Minister Azam Tarar, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and former NA speaker Ayaz Sadiq about the resignations of PTI lawmakers from the lower house of parliament.
And the third clip was of a purported conversation between Maryam and PM Shehbaz regarding the return of Pakistan’s former military leader Pervez Musharraf.
Musharraf’s family in June publicly confirmed that he was “going through a difficult stage” where recovery was not possible while Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar said Musharraf’s family was in contact with the military regarding his planned return.
The audio clip involved PM Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Law Minister Azam Tarar, Maryam Nawaz and former National Assembly speaker Ayaz Sadiq.